London: Roy Keane, the former Manchester United captain, has defended his right to criticise his old club after being taken to task by Sir Alex Ferguson.
Keane provoked Ferguson's ire when working as a pundit for ITV he said he felt United had "got what they deserved" when they were knocked out of the Champions League this month by FC Basel.
That comment did not go down well with Ferguson who questioned Keane's own managerial record, saying "(Roy) had an opportunity to prove himself as a manager too."
The Scot also raised the issue in his programme notes before last weekend's game against Wolves, writing about criticism of the club coming "even from people we thought were perhaps on our side".
Keane went on the counter attack, telling the Sunday Times: "If you want to question my managerial record, listen, you could question every pundit's managerial skill in relation to (Ferguson's) and we're all going to come up short.
"But I would also say that without players like myself, maybe he wouldn't have such a good managerial record because players who go down the punditry road, it's soon forgotten that we put bodies on the line for him."
Keane also accused Ferguson of failing to stand by him following his abrupt exit from the club in 2005.
"People say he stood by me in difficult times," the Irishman added.
"But he didn't when I was 34, not when I was towards the end and had a few differences with (former United assistant boss) Carlos Queiroz. All of a sudden then, 'Off you go, Roy, and here's the statement we've done."